234football NPFL Team of Matchday 35: assist provider Gbadebo, red-hot Nwankwo named

By Akila Matawal

Akwa United dispatched Jigawa Golden Stars to maintain their six-point lead at the summit and edge closer to winning their first-ever league title.

The other teams in the top-four — Nasarawa United, Kano Pillars and Enyimba — also won their respective matches. Enyimba needed a dramatic late goal from Anthony Omaka to beat MFM, Pillars defeated Abia Warriors 1-0 thanks to Rabiu Ali’s penalty and Nasarawa United spanked Sunshine Stars 4-0.

Ifeanyi Ubah’s hopes of beating the drop suffered a setback as they were beaten 2-0 at Rivers United.

There was a surprise in Gombe, where Adamawa United hosted Enugu Rangers. Henry Ochuba scored in stoppage time for already-relegated Adamawa United to cancel out Christian Nnaji’s strike and earn the Damaturu side a 1-1 draw.

Lobi Stars nullified all attacking threats from Plateau United in a 0-0 stalemate. Lobi Stars coach Kabiru Dogo was able to set up his team really well in Jos and he gets the nod as our coach of the week.

A 4-3-3 formation showcases our standout performers during matchweek 35.

Goalkeeper: Joshua Enaholo (Kano Pillars)

Kano Pillars goalkeeper Enaholo was at his best against his former side, Abia Warriors. His performance in the match, which finished 1-0 in favour of Masu Gida, got him plaudits from Abia Warriors gaffer Imama Amapakabo.

Right-back: Chigozie Obasi (Nasarawa United)

Arguably one of the contenders for right-back of the season, Chigozie Obasi netted his fourth goal in his last ten appearances, as Nasarawa United dismissed Sunshine Stars 4-0 in Lagos.

Left-back: Chinedu Ozor (Lobi Stars)

Lobi Stars’s goalless draw in Jos had much to do with Chinedu Ozor’s solidity on the left side of defence.

Centre-back: Sampson Gbadebo (Akwa United)

A consistent performer for the Promise Keepers, Samson Gbadebo was right on time to render a headed assist to Ubong Friday for Akwa United’s opener in their 3-0 triumph over Jigawa Golden Stars. Defensively, the former Rivers United man was flawless.

Centre-back: Samuel Ayodeji (Kwara United)

Kwara United got a vital 0-0 draw at Heartland FC and Samuel Ayodeji almost never put a foot wrong in defense for the Harmony Boys.

Midfielder: Anthony Omaka (Enyimba)

Enyimba FC almost dropped points at home against MFM FC save for Anthony Omaka’s late goal.

Timely intervention that was!

Midfielder: Lukman Binuyo (Rivers United)

Midfielder Lukman Binuyo got Rivers United’s first goal against relegation-threatened Ifeanyi Ubah with a well-struck free-kick on Sunday.

Midfielder: Emmanuel Ihezuo (Warri Wolves)

Warri Wolves got a lifeline in their relegation battle with a 1-0 win against Wikki Tourists. The only goal came through Emmanuel Ihezuo.

Right Winger: Wisdom Fernando (Akwa United)

Off the bench, Wisdom Fernando scored his first goal since April 2019 in Akwa United’s 3-0 win over Jigawa Golden Stars.

Centre Forward: Silas Nwankwo (Nasarawa United)

The NPFL top scorer added two to his tally in Lafia when Sunshine Stars were humbled 4-0.

He now has 18 goals.

Left Winger: Rasheed Ahmed (Katsina United)

Rasheed Ahmed’s two goals condemned Dakkada FC to a 2-0 win at Katsina United.

Mfoniso Williams

Passionate Nigerian football writer who, for many years, has travelled across Nigeria to cover league games.

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